To qualify for the vast majority of outdoor craft shows, you need a 10-foot by 10-foot white canopy tent. I called my friendly neighborhood Pat Catan’s to see what they might have. Turns out they had just one left … the floor model display, and the cost was a whopping … * drumroll please * … ten dollars! An awesome find, since many of these tents cost hundreds of dollars. “Hold it for me, I’m getting in the car right now and will be there as fast as I can drive!”
On entering the store, I heard far-off clinking metallic sounds. I made a manager aware of my presence and mission. Off we walked towards the metallic sounds. Surprise! A couple of employees were dismantling the craft show tent. “Hold it right there,” the manager said, “You can’t take this home free for yourselves. We’ve got a paying customer.”
The tent went into a box with no cover and no set of instructions. At least I was able to carry it to the car myself. I’m small-built, so if I hadn’t have been able to lift it, this saga would have ended right there.
This summer I applied for the Rocky River Fall Arts Festival. Kinda nervous, I called a couple friends to ask if I could borrow their backyard and could they help me practice setting up the tent? I brought them a cherry strudel for their trouble. But between the three of us, there was no earthly way we could stand the crazy contraption up!
The big day arrived. I showed up and explained my predicament. Someone suggested I could live without a tent since it was a nice day. Only, the mayor hosting the arts festival would not like that.
And so it took SEVEN PEOPLE working AN ENTIRE HOUR to help set up the craft show tent! Come to find out, these Good Samaritans included at least one financial tycoon of Northeast Ohio and several high-ranking officials in the local city government! I asked the most helpful one who he was so I could thank him properly, but he preferred to remain anonymous. In fact, nobody gave me their names. Anyway, I am SO IMMENSELY GRATEFUL to everyone who helped me at the first annual Rocky River Fall Arts Festival. Thank you! You know who you are!
Later on, my friends from the backyard came to help me take down the tent … which of course was no problem at all.
As for the fate of the tent, I’m planning to drop it off at the Goodwill store. The good news is, at least it served its purpose on the day I really needed it!